Thank you so much for your patience and ongoing support throughout the entire campaign - and please accept my sincerest apologies for not being able to update you all up until now. I am sure you’re all eager to know when your Zencube will be arriving. This update has all the FULL details in it so please read carefully until the very end.
As I’m sure many of you know, our campaign initially started out on Kickstarter, all the way back in May. This was a 30 day campaign which was due to end in June. But after hitting our target within a day, a few days later for some inexplicable (and still unknown) reason, our campaign was suspended. After appeal, a month later at the end of June we made the decision to move to Indiegogo, and ran our campaign which finished at the end of August.
Even back in May, our aim was to get the Zencube’s delivered by November and December. The fact we were only able to start the production process in September (once the campaign was over) meant that we were really up against it from day one. But despite the challenging circumstances, we have always been confident we would be able to turn it around in this time. This is due to having a fully working sample already produced (and therefore suppliers in place), a very proactive, motivated team and a very strong relationship with our manufacturing partners. Our plan was to produce throughout September, and send out in mid-October via sea shipping to various warehouses in different continents. And then pay local postage to get each backer their Zencube with plenty of time to spare.
Whilst we absolutely hold our hands up that we haven’t been the best at communicating regularly with you, we have had some major issues which have really impacted us on our journey - and our entire focus has gone on resolving these.
The Production Phase
In September, due to a major salt shortage, we were forced to change salt suppliers. The new supplier, thankfully was able to provide enough salt to produce all backer Zencube’s - and all using a higher grade of salt - which was crisis number 2 averted. Phew.
Then in October - our entire Bluetooth set up and RGB Bulb required a complete rework - and therefore another change to a new supplier. This was a huge effort to navigate and manoeuvre - and after lots of testing and engineering - we were finally able to agree a deal and get this sorted. Again - thankfully - the bulb is big upgrade from the previous bulb (but more costly, too!). All of this testing and the subsequent delay in supply to us meant production of Zencube was not able to start until gone November. Another two months lost.
Come November - and come another problem… this time, it was the App development - and getting it all to work (remember, the entire bulb had changed so we had to redesign and redevelop according to the new bulb). It is actually still something we are finalising - app development takes a while to perfect. Our experts are working round the clock to get it all sorted.
Delivery & Shipping
We have pushed ourselves above and beyond to try and get the Zencube to you by Christmas time as promised. We have spent the last week going back and forth with various logistics companies and have come to understand that due to various factors, the ONLY way we will be able to achieve this, is to pay for it to be couriered individually to every single person in the world who ordered - via International Express delivery through DHL.
Given that we had people from 31 different countries back the Zencube - from as far as Chile to New Zealand, Brazil to Japan, Thailand to Finland, this has meant it will cost us pretty much our entire budget (and then some, to put it mildly) to ship it out to you. To give you an example - to send to one country in our list - just the shipping alone was $110 (the Backer had paid only $99 for their Zencube!). Eeek.
As such, we have had to make some tough decisions. Do we prioritise the early backers? Do we wait until the App is 100% complete? Do we just apologise for the delay and send it in February?
At LIFE, we pride ourselves on goodness and integrity. So we wanted to find some way to stay true to our promise of delivery by Christmas. Our leadership team agreed that the trust and support of our backers is the most important thing - even if it means a commercial loss - so we have made the decision to take on this loss and send every backer their Zencube(s) via Express Shipping, from our manufacturing base in the Far East. This will be sent out this week, and therefore should arrive within 5-10 days - so before Christmas, we expect.
Unfortunately, what this does mean, is a little bit of bad news.
It is really important that you provide us with your telephone number, to be able to arrange the delivery. It is a requirement to be able to send it out via Courier. Please fill in this form ASAP.
Although it has been a very difficult few months in getting everything put together - we want to assure you we have tested the final version of the Zencube thoroughly - and it looks - and works - awesome!
We’ve pretty much turned grey overnight in the office, and incurred a pretty drastic loss but it’ll all have been worth it if we’ve delivered on our promise and you guys get your Zencube in time!
For those of you who are still reading - well done! I know it’s an extremely long update! :)
Before I end, I wanted to humbly draw your attention to the new perk we have opened. It is completely optional - and there is no obligation whatsoever - but if anyone wishes to donate a small amount to support a small startup like ourselves - in particular for the wonderful staff who have worked tirelessly to make this happen against the odds - then all donations of any amount would be very kindly received. Any donations will be put towards the extra shipping charges.
Just a reminder, please complete THIS as soon as you’ve read this update, so we have your contact details for the delivery.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and thank you again for all of your patience and support.
(A very tired) Tracie xx